Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is donating 20,000 square feet of studio space to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for storage of food boxes for families affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On Friday, officials announced eight more deaths in Illinois related to the pandemic and 1,105 more cases statewide, raising the death toll to 65 and the number of known cases in the state to 4,596 since the start of the outbreak in January.
Also on Friday, state education officials announced schools will not have to make up days lost to the coronavirus shutdown, but will have to make the transition to remote learning starting on Tuesday.
This comes a day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot closed the iconic lakefront and other public areas to pressure Chicagoans to adhere to the “Stay at Home” orders.
Cinespace’s donation supports the Food Depository’s ongoing efforts to address the increased risk for food insecurity as a result of virus outbreak.
The economic impact from business and school closures are expected to disproportionately impact Cook County’s lower-income families and hourly workers. As part of the Food Depository’s response to the crisis, staff and volunteers have been packing thousands of boxes of shelf-stable food for families in need.
“As we face this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, our community must join together to ensure none of our neighbors go hungry,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Food Depository. “We are incredibly grateful for Cinespace’s donation, which allows us to more efficiently use our resources to respond to the growing need.”
This generous donation from Cinespace frees up more room in the Food Depository’s facility for staff and volunteers to continue building those boxes in the weeks ahead.
Five days a week, Food Depository staff and volunteers pack boxes filled with canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice and other non-perishable items that are being distributed to families in need across Chicago and Cook County. However, social distancing recommendations currently limit the number of volunteers the Food Depository can host per session and require more room than usual.
Cinespace’s donation frees up an additional 20,000 square feet in the Food Depository’s warehouse to spread out volunteer projects and maximize our capacity to produce as many boxes as possible.
“This may be a global health issue, but it’s really about the people and the businesses in your neighborhood. When a neighbor calls and asks for help, you do it!” said Alex Pissios, president and CEO of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. “I’m thrilled that our studios in Little Village can play a role in making sure that the Greater Chicago Food Depository can continue to feed families in Cook County during this public health crisis.”
The Reel Chicago Team applauds this effort by Cinespace, once again making them more than just a studio lot.